from Middle East Observer

Description:

Senior Lebanese political analyst Anees Naqqash says that the United States should know that the ‘Resistance Axis’ is the one that now controls the entire West Asia region, and that Washington is in no position to impose conditions on Lebanon (such as closing the Lebanese-Syrian border) in return for easing its economic pressure on the country.

Naqqash, who is closely-linked to Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, is a prominent fixture on Lebanese and Arab television, especially on channels affiliated with the so-called ‘Resistance Axis’.

The ‘Resistance Axis’ broadly refers to a strategic anti-Israel/anti-US imperialist alliance composed of, but not limited to, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Iraq’s Hashed al-Shaabi, Yemen’s Ansarullah, and various Palestinian armed factions.

Source: Al Mayadeen News

Date: June 29, 2020

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Extended Transcript:

(Please note: below is an extended transcript providing more translation segments from the original interview. The actual transcript for subtitled video can be found at bottom of page under ‘Video transcript section’)

Naqqash:

Not all Lebanese are united against American imperialism. There are some (Lebanese) intellectuals, politicians and journalists who serve America more than it ever asks them to. We read (their writings), we follow them, we hear their statements, and we marvel at their enthusiasm for America, as if they had not learnt any lessons from history. Now is this issue over, as the ambassador – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – claimed? I do not think so. We are only at the starting line. The American attack on Lebanon did not begin with the (current economic) sanctions, it started in 1948 when (the US) supported the (Israeli) Zionist entity and incited it to wage wars against Arab countries. We will never forget that, and our peoples should never forget either. America is the enemy of the peoples of the region and the main supporter of Israel. This is one.

Regarding Lebanon in particular, (the US) harmed Lebanon more than once. With great hypocrisy, it claims to be Lebanon’s friend, but has always demanded that Israel stays stronger than Lebanon, that Israel despises and strikes Lebanon. In the July war (in 2006), it was very clear that the war was at the request of Dick Cheney, the American (vice president at the time). Israel was thus implementing an American decision. This is another thing that our people should not forget. Today, (the US) and Israel cannot eliminate the resistance (Hezbollah) through war. Therefore, they resorted to striking the social, economic and political environment in Lebanon through economic blockade. They are being delusional. They will not achieve their goal. They hope that people supporting the resistance will turn against it.

Now, the proactive response to the results (Americans) dream of came from Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and I think this is what provoked the (US) ambassador (in Lebanon). This statement was orchestrated by the US State Department, not the ambassador. The proof is that Pompeo said his piece as well.  Sayyed Nasrallah’s statement was strongly worded, highly threatening, full of high expectations and highly strategic. He said, at the beginning, and promised his people that we have plans to get through this economic blockade and our people will not go hungry. Then, he went on to talk about the end of the American-Israeli goals from this starvation and this blockade and said “we will kill you. You want to prevent us from destroying Israel and prevent us from fighting you and killing you, we assure you…” He (Sayyed Nasrallah) said it three times: “We will kill you. We will kill you. We will kill you”. This (repetition) means that we will win the economic battle and the battle that you (Israel) want to avoid, i.e. the military battle. The time when these plans will be unveiled and the big clash will break out, is determined by the Axis of Resistance and objective circumstances.

But surely our people will not go hungry. Our allies are strong. We heard a statement from Russia and China condemning the statements of the United States and its ambassador (in Lebanon). These two great powers confirmed that they stand by Lebanon and condemn these American statements.

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Naqqash:

I want to get back to the issue of exaggeration regarding the food crisis. I do not think that the people who were willing to sacrifice their lives when they were under fire, who lost their homes and livelihoods in the July war (2006), would be brought down with bread and butter. This is impossible.

We launched the slogan “plant a garden” at the beginning of the crisis, before it worsened. Today there are thousands of hectares and thousands of gardens. Our people will not starve. We are prepared for this long-running battle. There are friendly countries that will lend us a helping hand. As we saw Iran helped Venezuela and broke a much more important and much larger blockade than the blockade imposed on Lebanon, since Lebanon is much smaller than Venezuela.

The most important thing is that Lebanon is not subject to sanctions alone. Syria is subject to sanctions, undermining peace and security in Iraq and besieging the country in several ways are also types of sanctions, Iran has sanctions, China is threatened with sanctions and a trade war, Russia is subject to sanctions. So we are facing a world war launched by the United States under the title of “economic sanctions” on more than one country. Therefore, these countries must find ways to work together.

Two weeks ago, a delegation went to Syria and left last week after signing an agreement to extend a line of credit from Iran in order to provide Syria with several products and raw materials. Yesterday, President Putin also ordered the Russian army to use all its economic, cultural and media means to help Syria stand on its own feet. We are not alone.

The United States is playing its final cards and it will fail, especially as it faces its own economic crisis. The US is threatened by civil war more than Lebanon is threatened by any local violent actions. I am certain of that. We are in the midst of a conflict that will end in our favor, just as we planned and prepared. We assure our people, as we have always done, that victory will be ours. We would never promise to take any steps if we were not prepared for such a challenge.

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Video transcript section:

Naqqash:

(As for the US demand that Lebanon) close its borders with Syria, this means opening up the borders with Israel because Lebanon only borders Syria and the (Mediterranean) sea. When someone asks (us/the Lebanese) to close the borders with Syria, they will not only be asking us to seal the borders with a neighboring and friendly country, but with all countries beyond Syria, like Iraq, Jordan and other Arab countries.

We need to export (goods) now more than ever. We need to work with neighboring countries because we can use our local currency (in regional trade) and achieve economic integration. The US is overtly demanding that Lebanon commit a greater economic suicide (by closing its borders with Syria). However, this will not happen because our people are in control. America should know that our people (the Resistance Axis) are not only in control of the borders with Syria, we are in control of all of West Asia. This is what America should understand.

The US State Department is creating a smokescreen. If the (US State Department) consults the Pentagon (regarding this policy), the Pentagon will tell it that you will not able to pursue this policy if a war erupted or if all resistance forces moved (into action) using their full power. What are they threatening us with? They (Americans) are using the last method (card) they have, only to please Israel and some of the Arabs who are struggling for power. The US wants to show them that it is still taking action, but they are losing this battle. Closing (Lebanon’s) borders (with Syria) is a myth (i.e. an impossibility). We threaten them not only with opening up the borders (with Syria), but with abolishing them completely if we decide to do so today. There is no force on the face of the earth, no Lebanese, Arab or foreign force that can prevent us from abolishing the borders if we decide to. They (Americans) know this fact.

As for economic integration, this region is rich in resources, and some major countries are ready to help. The country (Iran) who sent seven oil tankers accompanied by a giant tanker carrying foodstuffs to open (its) first commercial center in Venezuela, (can do that again in Lebanon).

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